Timeline of San José Public Library History

artwork of the Knox Block that housed the first San José library in 1872

1872, Jul. 12 - San José Library Association begins a membership library in an upstairs room of the Knox Block (corner of First and Santa Clara streets); Collection built from donations
1880, Apr. 30 - Library supporters persuade City Council to pass a resolution creating a tax-supported library system
1880 - Library located on south side of Santa Clara Street (between Market and First), William Redding becomes first City Librarian (1880-1887)
1889, May - Library moves to second floor of new City Hall

1901 - Andrew Carnegie gives the City $50,000 for a new library building
1903 - Library moves to the new Carnegie Library at Fourth & San Fernando (future site of the King Library)
1907 - Carnegie Library constructed on East Santa Clara St. (the future "East San José Carnegie Branch")
1911 - First branch, East San José Carnegie, acquired when San José annexes the City of East San José
1937, July - Main Library moves from Carnegie location to the old Post Office building on the corner of Market and San Fernando streets (currently the San José Museum of Art)
1937 - San José annexes the town of Willow Glen, acquiring the Willow Glen Branch
1949 - Willow Glen Branch moves to current location on Minnesota Ave.
1959 - Bookmobile service begins with 60 stops every two weeks

1960 - Rosegarden Branch opens
1961 - Cambrian Branch opens
1964, Mar. 8 - West Valley Branch opens
1965 - A federal grant, along with a bond issue from 1961, provide $4,470,000 for construction of a new Main Library building
1965, Aug. - Hillview Branch opens
1966 - Calabazas Branch opens
1967 - Seventrees Branch opens
1968 - Berryessa Branch opens
1968 - San José annexes city of Alviso; Its City Hall (built 1934) becomes the Alviso Branch

1970, Apr. - Main Library opens on W. San Carlos St.
1971 - Almaden and Edenvale (December) branches open
1974 - Willow Glen Branch damaged in fire
1974 - Edenvale Branch renamed "Pearl Avenue Branch"
1975, Apr. - Rebuilt Willow Glen Branch opens
1976, Mar. - Evergreen Branch opens
1976, Apr. - Biblioteca Latinoamericana becomes affiliated with San José Public Library and opens in a facility provided by Sacred Heart Church as a result of a grant from the California State Library
1976, Dec. - Educational Park Branch opens in partnership with East Side Union High School District
1976 - Dewey Decimal System arrangement of collection adopted
1977, Fall - Empire Branch Library opens
1978, Dec. - Biblioteca Latinoamericana moves to a new facility in the former Woodrow Wilson, Jr. High School cafeteria

1983 - Flood destroys Alviso Branch collections
1984, Mar. - Alviso Branch reopens
1984, Nov. - Santa Teresa Branch opens

1990, Jan. 15 - Main Library rededicated as the "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Main Library"
1993 - City grapples with issue of the Main Library being at 100% capacity
1994, Nov. - Voters approve formation of the Library Benefit Assessment District
1997, Feb. - SJSU President Robert Caret and Mayor Susan Hammer announced intent to collaborate and build a new library that will serve both communities
1998, May - Memorandum of Understanding between the City and University approved
1998, Dec. - Separate Operating and Development agreements approved by the City and University

1999, Mar. - Architectural design drawings completed for the new King Library
1999, Sep. - Expanded Alviso Branch opens
1999, Nov. 20 - Biblioteca Latinoamericana Branch moves to its current location on South First St.
1999, Dec. - Construction documents completed for the new King Library

2000, Jul.? - Construction begins on the new King Library
2000, Oct. 20? - Groundbreaking for the new King Library
2000, Nov. - Voters approve Branch Library Bond Measure providing $212 million for 6 new and 14 expanded branches
2001, Sep. - Empire Branch renamed "Joyce Ellington"
2003 - Expanded West Valley Branch opens
2003, Aug. - The new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library opens at Fourth & San Fernando
2004, Jan. 17 - Vineland Branch opens, the first of 6 new facilities funded by the 2000 Branch Library Bond Measure
2005, Jan. 22 - Tully Community Branch opens
2005, Mar. 12 - Expanded Berryessa Branch opens at its current location
2005, Jul. 9 - Dr. Roberto Cruz – Alum Rock Branch opens, replacing the county-operated facility from 1978
2006, Feb. 11 - Expanded Rose Garden Branch opens
2006, May 13 - Expanded Almaden Branch and Community center open
2006, Sep. 16 - Expanded Evergreen Branch opens
2006, Nov. 18 - Expanded Cambrian Branch opens
2007, Jan. 20 - Expanded Hillview Branch opens in its new location
2007, Nov. 3 - Edenvale Branch Library opens
2008, Jun. 28 - Expanded Joyce Ellington Branch opens
2008, Aug. 9 - Expanded Pearl Avenue Branch opens
2008, Aug. 23 - Expanded Willow Glen Branch opens
2009, Aug. 29 - Expanded East San José Carnegie Branch opens

2010, Feb. 6 - Expanded Santa Teresa Branch opens
2013, Jan. 26 - Expanded Seven Trees Branch opens
2013, Feb. 23 - Bascom Branch opens
2013, May 18 - Expanded Educational Park Branch opens
2013, Jun. 8 - Expanded Calabazas Branch opens
2016, Apr. 16 - Village Square Branch opens
2019, Apr. 8 - Mt. Pleasant Branch opens